The Big Six energy suppliers in the UK have requested the British government to support gas-fired power plants, which could help the country avert a shortfall in capacity generation.

EnergyUK, which is the trade association for the energy industry, urged ministers to quickly take a decision in order to support investment in new gas-fired power plants.

The trade body has more than 80 firms as members, which include Centrica, E.ON UK, National Grid, RenewableUK, EDF Energy, RWE npower, and SSE.

Financial Times reported that EnergyUK chief executive Angela Knight sent a letter to UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey recommending that a decision on a capacity mechanism was urgently needed to avoid further uncertainty and risk.

"It is essential that market participants are given clarity on future market arrangements. The rules defining them should be agreed as quickly as possible," Knight added.

It is reported that around one-fifth of generating capacity in the UK is scheduled to close over the next ten years as most of the old coal plants do not meet the European Union environmental standards.